USS McCall (DD-400) was a Gridley-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy. She was one of two naval vessels to be named in the honor of Edward R. McCall, who was an officer in the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812.
McCall was laid down by the Union Plant, Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in San Francisco, California on March 17, 1936. Launched on November 20, 1937, she was sponsored by Miss Eleanor Kempff. Lieutenant Commander J.H. Whelchel took command of McCall on June 22, 1938.
Following commissioning, McCall reported with Destroyers, Battle Force in the Pacific. On the day of the fateful attacks on Pearl Harbor, McCall was en route to Pearl Harbor from Wake Island. Upon receiving word of the attacks, she began searching for the Japanese fleet. For the remainder of the year, McCall remained in the Hawaiian Islands in order to guard against further attack.
In 1942, McCall participated in several raids on Japanese installations, including one on the southern Marshall Islands, one on the northern Gilbert Islands and one on Wake and Marcus Islands. McCall also assisted with the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 12, 1942 before spending much of 1943 patrolling the waters near Alaska.
In 1944, McCall served as a screen for numerous raids, including the raids of Wotje, Taroa and Eniwetok in February as well as the strikes against Palau. On June 6, McCall assisted with operations in the Marianas Islands before participating in the Battle of the Philippine Sea on the 19th.
On July 10th, McCall’s crew spotted a motor whaleboat manned by a volunteer landing party in need of rescue. Despite being in range of 6-inch coastal batteries, McCall was able to complete the rescue. One of the volunteers on board the rescued vessel was George R. Tweed, an American sailor who had been in hiding in Guam since 1939. Tweed brought important information with him regarding Japanese morale and strength as well as the disposition of the troops and guns.
Over the next nine weeks, McCall assisted with the strike against Iwo Jima before assisting with operations against Yap, Palaus and Ulithi. She spent much of the last part of the year off Leyte as she provided support to the land operations taking place there.
At the beginning of 1945, McCall provided transport convoy escort before returning to fire support duties. In October 1945, McCall entered the Norfolk Navy Yard. She was decommissioned on November 30 of that year and was struck from the Navy list on January 28, 1947. McCall was sold to the Hugo Neu Corporation in New York on November 17, 1947 before being scrapped on March 20, 1948. McCall received nine battle stars for her service during World War II.
Asbestos Risk on the USS McCall (DD-400)
Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) were employed aboard McCall in almost all compartments, both in equipment and wrapped around steam pipes. Asbestos provided excellent insulation from heat and fireproofing. It was found in McCall’s boilers, engines, turbines, and mess. Most of her crew likely suffered at least some exposure to asbestos during their service. Such exposure is linked to a number of serious health concerns later in life, including mesothelioma cancer.
The law provides certain remedies for Navy veterans injured by asbestos during their service. If you or a loved one served aboard the McCall and were later diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. Find out more by completing the form on this page. We’ll send you an informative guide to the disease, modern treatment options, and your legal rights, at no cost to you.Sources
McCall. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.